Crackenback Stables, NSW

Crackenback Stables, NSW: Steel finds beautiful expression

Clad in corrugated galvanized steel, Crackenback Stables features weathering steel panelling at each end of the stables, as well as holding yards and breezeway spaces.


  Project Details

  Architect: Casey Brown Architecture
  Structural Engineer: Murtagh Bond Structuresburo
  Head Building Contractor: Bellevarde Constructions
  Steel Fabricator: GZ Engineering
  Steel Detailer: GNZ Detail
  Metal Building Contractor: Pre-Con Metal Roofing 
  Steel Distributor/Manufacturer: Stramit Building Products 


The initial brief for the Crackenback Stables complex project set the tone for its design, as well as its construction. This was reflected in the functional planning of the building and throughout its fabrication. 

Building in a remote location, the detailing and fabrication of the steel elements was crucial to an integrated aesthetic and structural outcome. The structural steel frame uses various steel cladding products to provide expression and definition. 

According to architects Casey Brown Architecture, superb detailing was a primary concern and steel was wonderfully adaptable and site friendly, while still delivering fine and robust detail. 

Weathering steel was used to provide contrast to the building’s corrugated iron shell. Cleverly hidden in the weathering steel façades are a series of concealed windows. The first floor eastern bedroom has an operable panel that flips up, allowing ventilation while not compromising the composition of the steel façade. A system of sliding custom perforated steel panels acts as hi-tech ‘fly mesh’ to allow air movement for the ground floor manager’s residence. 

Steel products used in the stables are structural, framing, linings and claddings. Additionally, the design of custom elements such as the doors, window hoods, awnings, fences, screens and blades occur through the building. Creative expression can be found in the custom weathered steel concealed clothesline, steel ladder frames to achieve cantilever awnings, tapping screws and pop rivets. 

Corrugated iron has been used as the primary cladding material and has been aligned to the roof planes to further emphasize the building’s trapezoidal form. On the southern side of the building, square pivoting windows break up the façade and provide light and ventilation. These use a custom steel frame with a deep galvanized steel reveal that protects against rain and sun. 

The building’s limited roof overhangs assuage weather issues in the exposed regional location such as snow and wind loadings as well as providing improved fire protection. 

The collective work done on the Crackenback Stables led to it being named winner of the Innovation in Steel awards at the 2016 ASI Awards.